AFC Championship Game 2012: Ravens vs. Patriots Predictions
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By: Ryan Fowler
If home is where the heart is, Joe Flacco will be lucky to survive a trip to New England this weekend.
The Ravens quarterback, 9-0 at home this season, has plenty of detractors and carries a chip on his shoulder because of it. However, his numbers, when stacked up against Tom Brady's, leave little to be desired and are why most believe the success of Ray Rice and the defense will dictate whether or not Baltimore advances to the Super Bowl.
In eight playoff games, Flacco has averaged a little over 153 passing yards per game with six touchdowns and seven interceptions. If you ignore this past weekend's game against Houston, Flacco's passing average dips to 150 yards per with four touchdowns and seven interceptions in seven road playoff games.
Brady threw six touchdown passes against Denver on Saturday. So, what took Flacco eight games to accomplish, Brady obliterated in two quarters, three minutes and change. The sync he and Rob Gronkowski showcase on any given weekend is a thing of beauty.
The Ravens defense may have Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed (ankle/probable), which can intimidate and slow down a T.J. Yates (three interceptions), but have failed to slow down opposing offenses over the last month. Houston tallied 315 total yards (compared to Baltimore's 227), Cincinnati finished with 336 (BAL 347) and the Browns' 256 total yards were only 28 fewer than the Ravens. It's hard to believe that type of effort on offense will be able to compete with the high-powered Patriots without a well-above average performance from Flacco.
Our simulation engine agrees. We simulated the Ravens and Patriots 1,001 times, and it's the Pats winning 56.4 percent of the time by an average score of 23-22.
|NFL Conference Championships|
|New York Giants||36.7||19||Boxscore|
|at San Francisco 49ers||63.3||23||49ers&vSeason=2011&vTeam=New+York+Giants" target="_blank">Simulate Game|
|at New England Patriots||56.4||23||Simulate Game|
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